Dear 76ers Fans, Stop Panicking About Free Agency.
As harsh of a pill this may be to swallow for some 76ers fans, this needs to be said after the reactions I’ve seen in regards to NBA free agency so far. We are not even a week in to this year’s free agency window and some of the takes and tweets I’ve seen from fans have truly caught me off guard.
Look, I understand the obvious frustration regarding some of the free agent signings. A couple of guys thought to be good fits for the Sixers rotation for smaller contracts were signed away. I am not here to pretend that watching Patty Mills sign with the Brooklyn Nets or Malik Monk going to the Lakers didn’t sting a bit. Both of those guys would’ve been good pieces to have off the bench next season, and the contracts they signed were even team friendly enough for a Sixers team this far over the cap.
What I won’t accept is a large amount 76ers fans treating missing on these signings as the end of the world. Yes, a guy like Monk or Mills would’ve been helpful off the bench, but they’d be role players on a team of this caliber. Does watching Kyle Lowry go to Miami and Mike Conley stay in Utah hurt? Of course, but the Sixers came into this free agency at least 12 million dollars over the cap according to Spotrac. Philly had no room to offer Conley a contract that pays him 24 million a year, and especially not a Kyle Lowry contract that pays him 30 million a year until he’s 38.
This absolute craziness from 76ers fans in reaction to a non-flashy start to free agency also undermines the couple of signings Daryl Morey has done so far. Re-signing both Furkan Korkmaz and Danny Green was unexpected, especially when both players received matching offers from other teams in the league. The Sixers grabbing Furkan Korkmaz for five million a year was a steal for a shooter in the modern NBA that has shown growth in each year he’s been in the league.
Getting Danny Green to come down from $15 to $10 million a year was also another great move, and while he is certainly aging Green’s value as a veteran exceeds the court greatly on a team full of youngsters. Not to mention Green recorded career highs in steals and blocks in his time with Philly last year, all while leading the league in corner threes. 76ers fans are very polarized when it comes to Danny Green, but keeping a proven champion in that locker room will always do more good than harm.
While they’ve had beef in the past, 76ers fans should also be happy with the Andre Drummond signing. With Dwight Howard returning to Los Angeles, the Sixers needed to find another backup center. While Drummonds production has certainly taken a severe hit over the years, getting a good rebounder and rim protector like Drummond was needed. Not to mention, there is no room for hate when Drummond joined the Sixers on a league minimum contract.
The point is, free agent signings were never going to be the big splash of this off-season, and 76ers fans need to realize that. The big get for the Sixers is going to come from a trade, a trade that likely involves Ben Simmons. In such a hectic off-season that is giving Philly fans plenty of Carson Wentz drama vibes, there is only one true phrase that all 76ers fans should abide by. It is Dame or bust season.
Mandatory Credit: Erick W. Rasco.